tv The Last Word MSNBC July 13, 2011 8:00pm-9:00pm EDT
o'donnell" starts right now. another tense meeting at the white house tonight where president obama refused to accept a single republican proposal, and according to eric cantor, this time it was the president who walked out. >> well, they are playing a great brand of soccer. >> it is over. the united states are in the world cup final. >> marched right through opponent france. >> the usa beats france, and barack obama scores. >> wait till you hear how much money his campaign officially raised. >> bigger is better. >> more than 550,000 donors. >> willing to go big here. >> a shock and awe report. >> what a juggernaut this was for the president. >> mr. mcconnell said the day i was elected president, to see me beat. >> now i'm not the only one who knows the president is winning. >> republicans don't have a chance. >> mr. mcconnell who waves the
white flag. >> mcconnell squawks, boehner balks, and cantor woes. >> trying to win the spin game. >> the senator republican leader says hey, i got this other nifty back-up plan. >> this is a complete betrayal of the tea party. >> let's be in a position to blame president obama. >> mitch mcconnell trying to become senator majority leader. >> tea party republicans are not exactly on the same page. >> inmates are truly running this asylum. >> we cannot go on scaring the american people. >> piece of legislation. >> this is a misnomer. >> as i fumble for the acronym, it guarantees to keep the promise. >> continue to be challenged by pledges they just can't keep. >> there's something out there caed the marriage vow. >> michele bachmann, who attempted to explain why she did sign it. >> that statement was not on the document that i signed.
>> the former minnesota governor, tim pawlenty announced he will not sign the marriage pledge. >> shock collar. if the candidate ever forgets the pledges he has signed and raises taxes on the top 2% of -- >> good evening from new york, the normally disciplined congressional republicans are now in an all-out panic in the most difficult negotiation they have faced to date with president barack obama. as the president holds to his bluff that he wants a big deal, a $4 trillion deficit reduction package, the republican leadership has gone from retreat from $4 trillion to $2 trillion, then from yesterday's surrender position outlined by senator mitch mcconnell to today's total outright confusion about what to do or think next. they should, by now, realized
that they were tricked by the president into weeks of discussion of trillions in possible spending cuts. eric cantor and john boehner, the lead republican negotiators went into those discussions with the vice president and the president with no real experience in negotiating anything this big, anything half as big as this with an opposition party. they forgot the maxim often repeated by participants to the press, nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to, and with some of the democrats at the table doing the smart thing, continuing to smile and nod as the republicans targeted spending cuts they would like, the rookie republican negotiators made the mistake of thinking they had reached areas of agreement with the democrats when, in fact, absolutely nothing had been agreed to, not one dollar, not one spending cut
had been agreed to because everything was never agreed to. naively thinking they were making progress in those negotiations with the white house, which, it turns out, really were only discussions, not negotiations, the rookie republican negotiators were lulled into allowing the clock to run down on the time left before the treasury risks default and hits the debt ceiling on august 2nd. the president timed his changing of the subject to taxation perfectly. once the republicans realized the president was truly insistent, not bluffing in any way about the need to include additional tax revenue in any sized deficit reduction package, they abandoned the negotiations, they gave up on $4 trillion, then they gave up on $2 trillion, because any package they negotiated, the president
was insisting must have tax revenue in it, any package of any size, so the republicans had nowhere to go, there was no size package they could negotiate. the naive eric cantor proudly and very loudly refused to attend anymore meetings as soon as the president became insistent on taxation. that, of course, gave the president what he needed at that time. the image of the reasonable man trying to do the responsible thing but unable to severe the cooperation of irresponsible juveniles who would sooner run away than fulfill their oath of office and bear their responsibilities of leadership. america's moneyed interest who spend millions trying to keep republicans in charge of the tax code so that they will save billions in taxation in their corporations and their personal fortunes looked on with increasing alarm. now those moneyed interests are desperately trying to teach
economically illiterate republicans in congress that there are worse things that can happen to their wealth than taxation. the huffington post reports today the report issued this week says "asking what the u.s. economy might look like after a possible u.s. treasury default is akin to asking what you will do after you commit suicide." having taken the debt ceiling hostage for the last six months, john boehner and mitch mcconnell, who have finally made it clear the debt ceiling must be raised are trying and failing to figure out how to release their hostage without suffering a unanimous press judgment that they were beaten badly in this hostage taking, humiliated really, by president obama, the same president whose reaction to hostage taking by somali pirates was to shoot them in the head.
the president's calm -- no, not his calm, his deadly coldness face-to-face with these inexperienced, incompetent political hostage takers has thrown them and their usually-bombastic cheerleaders cowering in fear. consider the lead editorial today in rupert murdoch's wall street journal. normally a champion of the most ludicrous republican policies and strategies, encouraging, which is to say ordering, a full surrender on the part of republicans on the debt ceiling saying of mitch mcconnell's strategic surrender yesterday "who can blame them?" they have finally caught on to what they say today "the president's strategy all along, take the debt limit talks behind closed doors, make major spending cuts seem possible in the early days, but then hammer
republicans publicly as the deadline nears for refusing to raise taxes on business and the rich." murdoch's editorial writers who normally find themselves in fundamental agreement with the right wing blogosphere are putting down mutiny against the mcconnell surrender. "the hottest precincts of the blog were calling this a sell out yesterday, though they might want to think before they shout. the debt ceiling is going to be increased one way or another and the only question has been what, if anything, republicans could get in return, if mr. obama insists on a tax increase and republicans won't vote for one, then what's the alternative to mr. mcconnell's maneuver?" the president's statements of what may or may not happen to
social security checks in the light of a debt crisis has advised freshman tea party republicans to not trust the polls they are looking at today. "the polls that now find that voters oppose a debt limit increase will turn on a dime when americans start learning that they won't get social security checks." if the republicans had a plan that they thought would work when they took the debt ceiling hostage, it could only have been the misguided expectation that when the moment came for the presidential decision in these discussions, barack obama would simply cave to the hostage takers' demands. ironically, others who shared that view as the possible outcome, here on the left side of our politics, have positions
in the blogosphere and megaphones in which they have trumpeted their distrust of barack obama's strength of character and his command of presidential power. as of tonight, the one person who we know is not panicking about what to do next is barack obama. eric cantor, however, has just described the meeting tonight at the white house this way to reporters. he, the president, got very agitated, said that he had sat there long enough, that ronald reagan wouldn't sit here like this, and that he's reached the point that something's got to give. a democratic aide tells nbc, cantor's account of tonight's meeting is completely overblown. joining me now is richard wolffe, msnbc political analyst and author of renegade, the
making of a president. thank you for joining me. reports are dribbling out about what happened in this meeting at the white house, eric cantor trying to give an account in which he describes the president of walking out, which i think is proof cantor now knows what a horrible, horrible political choice it was for him to proudly and loudly walk out of the meetings earlier. >> well, i was just talking to white house sources earlier this evening just before the show began and they tell me yes, the president ended the meeting but cantor's position has been overblown, his account is overblown and say the president did express frusation after a long meeting in which they discussed many things, but in the end the president's position was this "everything happening in this room is what the american people hate about this town." he said that the negotiators, the house leaders had until friday to figure out a deal and
he urged them to stop reading from their talking points, that they had to come up with a compromise and it meant if they didn't come up with a compromise, they would be facing default. this was a contentious meeting. he thinks the republican position, the debt increase has to be matched dollar-for-dollar with spending cuts is not feasible in any way. this is a president that has reached the point of no return, but the idea that he lost his cool, in my experience, everything this president does, even behind closed doors has been measured, thought through, and his expressions of frustration are one more marker along that line. >> yeah, i don't think you'll get the american public to believe that the president who got those somali kidnappers, who got osama bin laden with calm is a guy that loses his head in a meeting like this. look, i have a bunch of experience in presidential
meetings in the white house in budget negotiations. guess who always ends a meeting in the white house? the president. it's over when the president gets up to leave, whenever the president has to leave, he gets up to leave. there's no news there. i want to read you, richard, what one democratic aide told nbc news. said the meeting was tense but constructive, republicans were called on the carpet for trying to have it both ways, cuts were dollar for dollar and warning about the moody's warning on the debt. and finally saying eric cantor sat there speechless. this is now that thing that always happens in these closed-door meetings. the press isn't in there so each side runs to the microphone and tries to get control of the imagery of what really happened in there, but richard, what is your sense of what happens next? >> well, i think it is interesting that the white house is -- has got this idea that
boehnor and cantor were still reciting talking points behind closed door that this hasn't been a serious compromise behind closed door. it means the negotiations haven't actually begun, because every time there has been a serious proposal, whether it's the big deal with boehnor or this parliamentary maneuver with mcconnell, they have been undercut by people like eric cantor. they have to agree with one another as republican leaders, they need to be able to lead their own party. i know we keep saying in places like this, you know, it doesn't matter for house republicans, they are safe in their seats. you know, you don't have much power as a republican leader unless you're in the majority, so they are looking at a suicidal option for themselves. unfortunately, the suicidal option also takes in the rest of the american economy, that means you, me, everyone watching this show. >> the washington journal warning them they are not safe in their seats, that the polls
would change on them on a dime. nbc's chuck todd is reporting tonight the president told eric cantor he'd veto, actually veto a short-term extension if they passed one in the house. that would somehow have to get passed in the senate. would the president really exercise a veto if on august 1st they pass a short-term that would take them past august 2nd? >> my sources also say the veto would be in play here. that is a serious response from this president. again, to people who think he doesn't have the spine for this debate or to continue this fight, they are mistaken. just as they are mistaken for thinking default or the threat of default won't hurt the credit rating of the united states treasury. >> here's why you can veto at the last minute, to write a debt ceiling bill that works, you only need one sentence of legislation that changes the number in the debt ceiling. we've passed them like that before, and at the very last
minute after a veto at 11:00 p.m., they could get one passed at midnight. richard wolffe, thank you very much for joining me tonight. >> thanks very much, lawrence. coming up, rupert murdoch surrenders, plus, how harry reid got republican senators to pass a really stupid vote today. that's in the rewrite. and the first indicator that the president's base is not abandoning him. how can you tell? a wicked huge fundraising number. we'll break it down. who's giving and how much next. >> ( rooster crows ) >> by 2020, 50 billion network devices will roam the earth. that's seven devices per person. this will change how we work in ways we've never before imagined. what do you need to secure your people, their devices, and your business?
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president. the president's campaign did this in the face of repeated cries heard from guests on this program and others and many other programs and many blogosphere outlets for most of the last year that the president was alienating his base by abandoning the public option health care bill last year or failing to close the camp at guantanamo bay or even being willing to listen to republicans discuss their politically suicidal wish list for spending cuts in medicare and social security. the president had been warned here and else where that this alienation would first appear in the inability to maintain the obama grassroots fundraising effort that broke online fundraising efforts in the last campaign. the president has now broken his own records.
joining me now, ari melber, thanks for joining me tonight. this is our first indicator of what you and i, others, have been talking about, how alienated is the base when president obama is forced to, he would put it, abandon a campaign promise like a public option, closing guantanamo, getting rid of the top bush tax rate going back down on the clinton rate. none of those things happened. other things did in their place. the base in this first fundraising report seems to be understanding. >> that's right. i think what you're looking at here is tremendous success, record breaking against obviously, the republicans who are not in great shape at an accumulative $35 million, but against obama's own record which was impressive. many people have said when you're a challenger, when you're on defense, and when you're asking people to really propel you, you have a better argument than one as an incumbent, any
incumbent, what you think seriously disappointed members of his coalition at times. the big number that jumps out at me is 260,000 new donors. new. >> i missed that number. >> anyone watching at home knows there's a difference between your neighbor talking about obama, you have 260,000 people they found, located, targeted, and reached, that are giving and that's huge. >> finding new ones is hard when you saturated in 2008. part of the money has been raised for the dnc, higher limits, like $5,000. but most of them, the overwhelmingly majority of them in the presidential campaign fund were under $250. so these really are people looking in their wallets saying how much can i afford, i don't normally do this. this is a voter reaction in
effect. >> i think, and i think it does show something about what we talk about on this show and a lot of places, which is there's an enthusiasm gap. okay, you don't expect someone disappointed about guantanamo to vote for mitt romney, but will they give less, will they do less, you're seeing increments of $60 to $80 depending if you count all the funds together or the obama campaign funds, either way, under $100. that's a small donation. that is not only fat cats. >> now, adam greene, the progressive change campaign committee put out a statement today. he's came on here and voiced this worry the president could be alienating his base of support. he offers this perspective. every one of president obama's donations came in before he began pushing cuts to the social security, medicare, medicaid benefits we depend on. he will lose million ins donations and millions of
volunteer hours from people who once passionately supported him. two things about that, no evidence president was pushing any such cuts. according to mitch mcconnell's own account was the president was sitting there faking some kind of possible agreement that he never reached on those things. but what do you make of adam's point in general? guantanamo, public option, all those things were already present in our politics and had already been used as predictors for a weaker base of support. >> this is the closest thing we're seeing on the left to a pledge or grover norquist style accountability movement. i think it's an interesting tactic. i interviewed adam today as well, but i think it's misplaced to argue in the face of these numbers that there's a significant that's tens of thousands of grassroots donors who are going to oppose or show their distrust of certain decisions they probably do disagree with by doing a donor
strike in this way. i don't think the evidence is there. that's what's interesting about the numbers today. other point i'll make quickly, president obama has more support among democrats than any democratic president in the last 50 years. in the broad-based polling, democrats are standing by this president. >> and the democrats who complain about obama's discussion about the social safety net seem to have no idea or weren't old enough to know that bill clinton was the first and only president to repeal a provision of the social security act, in effect, abolishing welfare to no objection, no objection from that side of our politics. ari melber of the nation, thank you very much for joining me tonight. >> thank you. coming up, the marriage vow pledge story that keeps on giving. as predicted here last night, mitt romney today refused to sign it, and tim pawlenty did too. and senator republicans make a critical error in judgment.
that's not really news, but harry reid gave them every opportunity today to avoid a very stupid vote, and, of course, the republicans still made the very stupid vote. naturals from purina cat chow. delicious, real ingredients with no artificial flavors or preservatives. naturals from purina cat chow. share a better life. having the right real estate agent on your side is more important than ever. at remax.com, you can find the experts you need, whether you're trying to sell of hoping to buy. nobody sells more real estate than re/max. visit remax.com today. every day you live with the pain of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis could be another day you're living with joint damage. help stop the damage before it stops you by asking your rheumatologist about humira. for many adult patients with
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there's something out there called the marriage vow. okay, this pledge is put out by the iowa conservative christian group, the family leader. >> this is a pledge you would sign? >> in fact, i actually did sign it. >> you did sign it. >> when i first read it, i was taken aback, i can't argue that i wasn't. >> yes, he signed it, but only after he was taken aback, okay? it goes like this. oh, my god. what the -- oh, no. what the -- holy [ bleep ] what the -- okay. all right. >> and the day after that installment of the colbert report, mitt romney and tim
pawlenty decided that unlike rick santorum they were really too taken aback to sign the marriage vow. last night, romney became the first serious candidate -- well, he thinks he's a serious candidate -- to decline the pledge to oppose divorce, same-sex marriage, infidelity, sharia law, other institutions that do not suit iowa christian conservatives. romney's spokeswoman "strongly supports traditional marriage but the oath contained references and provisions that were undignified and inappropriate for a presidential campaign." that provoked the man behind the pledge, bob vander plaats to tell talking points memo, one of the reasons we put the pledge together was for a person or candidate like mitt romney. it's been well documented that
romney has been all over the board when it comes to marriage or abortion or universal health care. i don't think that's going to do his campaign any favors in the state of iowa. vander plaats did not react as strongly to the word that tim pawlenty also declined to also sign the pledge today, telling tpn he appreciated pawlenty's statement. that statement said pawlenty supported traditional marriage and the pledge's core credentials but i prefer to choose my own words, especially seeking to show compassion to those who are in broken families through no fault of their own. joining me now, national affairs editor for new york manager, john heilemann, john, thank you for joining me tonight. you're a man about town here in new york. i don't know if you happened to see this show last night. >> i, in fact, never miss this show. i have, in fact, seen your -- >> this is going to be tricky,
then, to justify showing you a clip from last night's show. >> but it's so good, i wanted to see it again. >> i want to see a prediction made on this show last night. no one in the political media has yet noticed that this particular provision presents an awkwardness for front runner willard m. romney who is himself a product of polygamy. his great grandmother was one of five wives of his great grandfather. that's five at the same time. so signing a pledge against polygamy should make romney's hand tremble a bit even now. >> so, you see, polygamy is one of the things you vow to oppose here. you know, in the present tense, which romney does. he opposes it in the present tense. >> better the second time. >> i thought so too. so the pledge was designed in more ways than vander plaats is
willing to admit about mitt romney because there is in christian fundamentalism in iowa a real issue with mormonism. >> there is. it was an issue the romney campaign was concerned about in 2008. they thought part of the problem he had breaking through with evangelical voters is because they believe it's a cult and not a branch of christianity, not christianity and the polygamy aspect of it is part of that. >> romney would have no trouble in the democrat primary. the other thing in here is pawlenty's refusal. it's interesting politically pawlenty's refusal to sign the same document seems to get a pass from iowa. >> this group in the end may end up being as upset with tim pawlenty as with romney, but look, pawlenty does have a lot more credibility and has been campaigning in an active way
trying to court that vote. mitt romney is more or less trying to stay out of iowa and not doing anything to actively court iowa evangelicals. >> i think the smart move by pawlenty and to a certain extent romney here in not signing this is they are going to keep the pledges coming. pick one early that you refuse to sign, then take that position of the only oath i'll take is a oath of office. >> we're in a pledge-ademic. they see that getting people to sign pledges is a way for relatively marginal groups to have a huge outside influence on the process. the one republican candidate right now who from the very beginning said he won't sign any pledges whatsoever is john huntsman. it comes out sounding principled, once you sign one you have to sign them all. >> national affairs editor for
new york magazine, john heilemann. thank you so much for joining me tonight. blocked a proposal by harry reid that would block income tax rates for incomes over $1 million. their utterly stupid move gets them tonight's rewrite. and later, more troubled for the embattled news corp. congressman peter king is calling for the fbi to look into whether rupert murdoch-owned company hacked into the phones of 9/11 victims, that's republican congressman king. that's coming up. my doctor told me calcium is best absorbed in small continuous amounts. only one calcium supplement does that in one daily dose. new citracal slow release... continuously releases calcium plus d for the efficient absorption my body needs. citracal.
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time for tonight's rewrite. as president obama continues to run rings around republicans, he got an important assist today from senate majority leader harry reid. the president has gotten republicans to abandon all hope of getting a massive spending cut package by insisting it include a much smaller package of tax revenue increases. not tax rate increases, the
president's demand is simply that republicans support closing agree -- tax loop holes, get away with murder, legal tax murder, but the republicans consider closing loop holes, even the ones being stretched far beyond their intended scope to be exactly the same thing as raising income tax rates, which, of course, to any sane mind, it isn't. today in the senate, harry reid made income tax rates the issue, specifically one rate, just the top income tax rate, and why there should be a new top income tax bracket for people with incomes over a million dollars. reid brought this issue to a vote in the senate with a
non-binding resolution entitled "sense of the senate on shared sacrifice" which reads "congress makes the following findings, wall street journal reports median pay for chief financial officers of s&p 500 companies inkreezed 19% to $2.9 million last year. over the past ten years, the median family income has declined by more than $2,500. 20% of all income earned in the united states is earned by the top 1%. that's 20% of all income earned in this country is earned by the top 1% of individuals. over the past quarter century, four-fifths of the income gains accrued to those top 1% of
individuals. it is the sense of the senate that any agreement to reduce the budget deficit should require that those earning $1 million or more per year make a more meaningful contribution to the deficit reduction effort. this is so easy for anyone to vote for, democrat or republican. make a more meaningful contribution to the deficit reduction effort means almost nothing. you could vote for it thinking that everyone making over $1 million should pay $1 in income taxes or $100 more in income taxes. whatever you want. if you're a republican and you vote for this, it doesn't in any way bind you to a democratic bill that might come along someday saying that people making $1 million or more should pay an additional 2% or 3% in income taxes.
you could say no, that's too meaningful in a contribution, i meant something much less than that. still, harry reid got a majority, 51 democrats, to vote for this resolution and every republican, obviously including every republican running for reelection, to cast a very, very stupid vote against this resolution. harry reid knew he needed 60 votes to pass his resolution and he knew he couldn't get 60 votes, but he got what he wanted, republicans on the record voting on the record opposing sanity in the tax code at the very top. minutes after the vote, the massachusetts' democratic chairman took the handoff from senator reid and began using the vote to win back teddy kennedy's old senate seat issuing this statement, "once again senator
scott brown has gone along to get along with washington, d.c. republicans to the wealthiest americans and special interests. how unpopular is the republican vote on this resolution? consider the words of david brooks, according to the gal galup organization, only 20% of americans believe the budget deal should insist on spending cuts only. even among republicans, there should be a mixture of tax increases and spending cuts. yet, the gop is now oriented around this 20%. it is willing to alienate 80% of voters and commit political suicide. every day in every way, president obama and senator reid will continue to try to find more ways to invite congressional republicans to
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puts it, former british prime minister gordon brown got his revenge in a speech before the house of commons. >> as early as the winter of 2002, senior police officers at scotland yard met the now-chief executive of news international and informed her of serious action, and the new investigation will no doubt uncover why no action was taken within news international. news international and every other responsible paper should be not to publish on page 25 or 27, but on page one, apologies to all individuals. >> then, here in the united states, california senator barbara boxer and west virginia senator jay rockefeller called on eric holder and the squurt and exchange commissions to see if news corp. violated u.s. law
ins bribing police officials to gain access to private telephone information and records. part of their letter reads "the reported allegations against news corporation are very serious, indicating a pattern of illegal activity and involve thousands of potential victims. it's important to ensure no united states laws were broken and no united states citizens were victimized." also letters urging holder to conduct an investigation and now new york congressman peter king is calling for an fbi investigation into whether news corp. employees hacked into 9/11 victims' voice mails. a writer for the uk's guardian newspaper summed up his thoughts on today's developments in this tweet, this is our berlin wall moment. joining me now, cnbc's simon hobbs. simon, thanks for joining me tonight.
>> good evening, lawrence. >> this news about the possibility of hacking into 9/11 victims' telephones here in new york is very ominous for murdoch. when we go back in time, that would be under the police commissionership of the convicted criminal, bernard carich, who is known to have had a close relationship to the new york post and the murdoch empire. it seems as if there is some smoke here. what are the chances of an investigation being aimed directly at the weak link there, bernie carich, who's in yale right now? >> i'm afraid i don't have information on that right now, lawrence. clearly there will be an investigation. as you can see, all guns now blazing in order for the united states to react to what we're learning from the united kingdom. let me just explain to you what's gone on there. you have had a most formidable uprising there, the like of which we have not seen from the
left of politics, from the democrats. for a long time they were under control, murdochs and others. remember how diana died, hounded by the paparazzi. but they were scared of rupert murdoch because his newspapers, election campaigns won elections. then you have the coincidence of events in the united kingdom where the democrats became a tinderbox, then the one spark united them, the revolution a 13-year-old girl had been abducted and in fact had been murdered. the journalist had hacked into her mobile phone in order to get her messages and write about them. not only that, they deleted messages so the police and her family thought that maybe she was still alive. then you have this rage that has come through today as is evidence in the house of commons where they have passed just emotion to say that rupert murdoch should not take over
bskyb, which is the equivalent of directv in the united kingdom. murdoch has not done that before. he's a fighter, you see that in fox news and the establishment of bskyb, but he's pulled back for once. the question is where does he go and where does news corp. go, and the question is will the fcc licenses come up for question as result of the behavior of what went on after 9/11? it's a long line, it's a long chain of events from what might be freelance operators as he mentioned in letters to the attorney general, which you just mentioned, and if you could hang that on senior executives at news corp., but that will, without question, be the game. >> there is an often repeated principle in business that every organization resembles its head, that a company will behave overall the way the head behaves. i've experienced it in every company i worked with and also in government, the head of the
organization determines the conduct that's going on underneath, either directly or indirectly. is that the sense that the british government has about the murdoch empire that this is absolutely an extension of the way murdoch thinks about obtaining information? >> very much so for those newspapers, which are frankly the runt of the news corp. group. it makes its money from movies here in the united states and television here in the united states, but, of course, those are the newspapers he built personally. the family, and you'll know this huge nepotism with the son and daughter, bringing them on board to run news corp. they'd like to get rid of the newspapers, but murdoch has always clung on to them. maybe now he will. that's one of the options. >> simon hobbs from nbc, thanks for joining us. you can have the last word at our blog. "the rachel maddow show" is up next. good evening, rachel. >> good evening, lawrence, thanks very much and thanks for staying with us this next half hour. best new thing